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Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is one uncompromising game. To really appreciate this sort of RPG, you need to be either someone who fondly remembers the good old days or someone who has always wanted to take a trip back in time to the dungeon crawlers that dad used to play. As such, it's either a good game or an awful one depending on your perspective. But the developers have clearly succeeded in their efforts to turn back the clock for the nostalgia-minded, so you have to admire the effort and the end results, even if you can't fully get into its old-time atmosphere.
Old school et fier de l'être, Labyrinth of the Lost Souls propose une expérience à l'ancienne, aux mécanismes archaïques, s'adressant clairement à une tranche de joueurs bien spécifique. Son extrême austérité ne fera donc certainement pas l'unanimité et le destine avant tout aux amateurs de dungeon crawling brut et sans artifices, qui retrouveront avec ce titre le charme et l'ambiance des premiers jeux du genre. Les autres peuvent passer leur chemin sans regret.
Despite the throw back nature of the game I still enjoyed my time with Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls. For just $9.99 you get to explore 10 levels in the main dungeon, plus another 5 levels in the trials dungeon. On top of that Xseed has released an additional 5 levels for the trials dungeon which can be bought on the PSN for just $4.99. In all, a gamer could spend well over 40 hours with Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls. Gamers new to the genre probably won’t find much to like here and should look to games like the Etrian Odyssey series if they want to stick their foot in the Dungeon Crawling waters. But long time fans of the genre like me will definitely get their $15 worth. A word to the wise though, the first hour or two of the game are brutal and if you can make it past that you will start to understand how the game works and you will really be able to decide if you like the game at that point.
Wizardry: Labyrinth of Lost Souls is certainly fun, but it's fun for a specific group of people. Those who love the old school of RPGs before they became more about the cinematics and fast-paced action will find a lot to like. It's a classic Wizardry game through and through, almost unchanged from the older titles. In some ways, it feels even more archaic than titles like Etrian Odyssey or other dungeon-crawler titles. Archaic doesn't mean bad, though. If you don't enjoy the idea of wandering lost in a dungeon or spending hours puzzling over every bit of gameplay, then you'll end up more frustrated than anything else. On the other hand, if a plot-light and exploration-heavy, old-school RPG tickles your fancy, then Wizardry is exactly the right game for you.
Wizardry: Labyrinth of the Lost Souls is by no means a terrible game. I am sure it will find a niche base of masochists that will tolerate the extreme level of difficulty and tolerate the dated presentation. But the game is way too old school for me. I am ashamed to admit it, but it kicked my ass….hard. This is a game that I had HUGE expectations for and it didn’t live up to it. It reminds me that games have evolved for a reason. Hell, if they have kept the same extreme difficulty and dated visuals, but had added some modern conventions like an auto-map and some sort of tutorial to ease you into the game (or maybe an adjustable difficulty setting) I would still be playing it. As it stands it is just a big fat disappointment in which combat was extreme, progress was extremely slow and navigation was more difficult than navigating a maze at night while blindfolded and with a pack of rabid dogs chasing you.
We’re sure this description is enough to send most players screaming for the hills, but no doubt there are some of you who read those paragraphs up there and cackled with masochistic glee. Congratulations! You are the very people for whom this game was made – go out and download it. The rest of us are probably better off playing a game like Etrian Odyssey, which takes a lot of Wizardry-style elements and make them more accessible and palatable to a modern gaming audience. Labyrinth of Lost Souls, for better or for worse, just puts a new coat of paint over its old-fashioned trappings. Whether or not that’s something you actually want to play is entirely dependent on your personal taste.
At times, it seems wilfully obscure and unaccommodating, as if it doesn't want you to understand its esoteric ways: "This isn't for you; now, move along." But after time, you realise it's not hostile at all; it just expects a high degree of genre competence from you. Flatteringly, it assumes that before you enter the first dungeon you'll have bought a map (or have a sharp pencil to hand); that INT, PIE, LUC, VIT form a part of your active vocabulary; and that you're not impressed by immediate reward, but the deferred pleasures that come from spending hours accumulating XP in the dark and fastidiously tweaking your team’s stats and inventory. If that’s not you, then it’s hard to see how Wizardy: Labyrinth of Lost Souls will entertain rather than frustrate or perplex.